CoPilot UK Blog

CoPilot Travel Tips: best places to visit this spring

It is spring and time to travel! Or at least time to plan your upcoming summer holidays. The CoPilot team has put together a list of our favourite places to visit in Europe, which we hope will serve as an inspiration!

It is also the perfect time to get CoPilot sat nav with offline European maps to avoid roaming costs when navigating abroad: for a limited time you can save 20% off the regular price of our Europe sat nav apps.  SAVE NOW >

Here are our top spring travel destinations:

Lake Como – Italy

Lake Como in Italy (45.809179, 9.083923) is the must-see place this spring with its beautiful scenery, refreshing lake and amazing food.

lake-como-italy

Gardens of Claude Monet – France

If you are driving through France, don’t miss the famous gardens of impressionist painter Claude Monet in Giverny (49.0753, 1.533705) – beautiful!

monet-garden-giverny-france

Salinas de Torrevieja – Spain

Looking for something different? Then drive off to the Salinas de Torrevieja in Spain (38.009300, -0.699873). The water of the lake is pink, thanks to tiny algae that live in the salt water. Ah and there are plenty of pink flamingos out there too!

salinas-torrevieja

Øresund Bridge – Sweden/Denmark

If you are planning a trip to the north, or coming down to South from Scandinavia, don’t miss the Øresund Bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden (55.583524, 12.794434) Part of the bridge goes underwater to let ships pass, meaning that you drive down in the water and then come out on the other side. Impressive engineering!

oresund

Hotel Äscher-Wildkirchli – Switzerland

In every season Hotel Äscher-Wildkirchli near Appenzell, Switzerland (47.289476, 9.4142) is one of the most beautiful places to stay! Enjoy the amazing scenery and refreshing air.

Aescher-Hotel-In-Appenzellerland-Switzerland

Cappadocia – Turkey

With its subterranean cities, cave houses, and enchanting landscape, Cappadocia in Turkey (38.651466, 34.844658) is one of the most extraordinary places on the planet.

cappadoccia

We hope you like our list of top destinations in Europe and if you are planning to visit these breathtaking places this spring, let us know how your trip went on our Facebook, Google + or Twitter pages.

And of course – whether you drive to the destination or rent a car, don’t forget to pack your offline sat nav with you.

Safe travels!

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Spring Travel Sale: 20% off CoPilot Europe Maps and Apps!

sale-copilot-gpsSpring is here and there is no better time to make most of it and travel!  With the long weekend ahead, it’s the perfect time to get CoPilot sat nav with offline European maps to avoid roaming costs when navigating abroad. Plus for a limited time you can save 20% off the regular price of our Europe sat nav apps.  SAVE NOW > 

CoPilot’s European apps include premium quality street maps of the whole of Western & Eastern Europe, so wherever you are heading (from Norway to Turkey), you can always be sure to find your way in your own language. There is no need to store ALL of Europe on your device though – simply add and remove just the countries / regions you need – when you need them – to save precious space on your mobile.

You can find a complete list of all the countries included in our European apps here

Spring Travel Sale: Get Europe CoPilot Sat Nav with 20% off!

(sale ends on 21th April 2014)

satnav-sale-copilot

Shop for:
iPhone >

Android >

Shop for:
iPhone/iPad >

Shop for:
iPhone/iPad >

Android >

Got our CoPilot GPS app? We’ve got a great Spring Travel Offer  for you too:

CoPilot Gps IconCoPilot GPS

Get 20% off Europe in-app map upgrades

Tap MyCoPilot > Features & Upgrades

 

 

Our CoPilot Premium & CoPilot GPS apps are available on Google Play , the iTunes App Store and the Windows Phone Store.  You can purchase additional map regions via in-app purchase.  Go to MyCoPilot > Features & Upgrades

If you have questions visit us at the CoPilot community forum where we’re always available to help: http://forum.copilotlive.com/copilotlive or say hello on FacebookGoogle+ or Twitter.:)

Wherever you are travelling this Spring, we wish you safe travels from everyone at team CoPilot!

 

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Build 2014 & Windows Phone 8.1 – Developer’s Perspective

build-2014Rob Irving, Senior Software Engineer, ALK Technologies - Microsoft held their annual Build developer conference in San Francisco last week. I was able to attend this year to learn about new features and technologies that might be useful for CoPilot. The focus of the conference this year was the release of Windows Phone 8.1 a much awaited update that will bring many exciting features to both existing Windows Phone 8 devices, and soon to be released new hardware.

Cortana

The star of the day 1 keynote this year was Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant that will be a part of the Windows Phone 8.1 experience. When compared against Siri and Google Now, Cortana has a mix of features found on the competitor platforms, and some new ones that should help differentiate Windows Phone. You can ask Cortana to set up calendar appointments, reminders or find out if you need an umbrella, but like a real personal assistant Cortana will also try to learn your habits. Do you read a lot of tech news on your Windows Phone? Cortana would detect this, and ask you if you want to save that interest to her ‘notebook’. Then she’ll look for tech news headlines for you automatically when you go to the ‘Cortana Home’ page. Have an upcoming flight? If you allow Cortana to read your email she can track your flight information for you.

windowsphone8-1

The most exciting thing about Cortana though is unlike Siri and Google Now, Cortana can interact with 3rd party apps. Microsoft has already worked with apps like Skype, Hulu Plus, Facebook and Foursquare. The APIs to integrate with Cortana are available to all developers though. Would you like to tell CoPilot to bring you home through Cortana?

Other 8.1 Features

In addition to Cortana there were a lot of other new features coming for WP8.1. Here’s a list of a few of the key new features:

  • Action Center – Quick access to notifications and settings
  • Word Flow Keyboard – ‘Swipe’ style keyboard that allows for faster typing. Record breakingly fast.
  • SD Card Storage – You can now install apps to your SD Card. Great feature for low and midrange phones with less storage.
  • Geofencing – Location triggered alerts
  • Bluetooth 4.0 LE – Should enable better support for smart devices and watches
  • Miracast – To project display to TVs and other devices
  • Improved Apps for Calendar, Music, Video, Podcasts

And that’s just a sampling of the new features. For a more complete list, check out the Windows Phone blog: http://blogs.windows.com/windows_phone/b/windowsphone/archive/2014/04/02/cortana-yes-and-many-many-other-great-features-coming-in-windows-phone-8-1.aspx

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Windows Phone 8.1 – Microsoft Back in the Game?

Windows-Phone-81It’s easy to forget that Microsoft has been powering mobile phones for almost twice as long as Apple or Google.  Alongside Nokia’s Symbian, and later Blackberry, they pioneered the touch-screen, internet-enabled smartphone. Microsoft launched a highly-capable touch-screen tablet PC almost a decade ahead of the iPad.

But fast forward to 2014, and Microsoft have lost their first mover advantage. They’ve come to be dominated by others in the mobile device sector: firstly by Apple’s iOS, and then by Google’s Android. To say they’ve been slow to catch-up with the competition would be being kind.

There’s been some progress over the past few years. The biggest step was to move completely away from the old Windows Mobile OS that had been a market leader in the pre-iPhone era. The replacement came in the form of Windows Phone 7 which while touch-friendly, was challenging for developers to create apps for. Windows Phone 8 was more flexible, and coupled with some quality hardware from Nokia has helped Microsoft to gradually creep back up the market share tables. In certain markets, e.g. Italy, Windows Phone has significant traction and double digit share.

This week at Microsoft’s annual Build Developer Conference, Microsoft unveiled Windows 8.1 , and with it a raft of improvements to help close the gap with Android and iPhone. We have a developer there in San Francisco and will be reporting back here on our blog shortly with their view on the new version and what this means to CoPilot.

However arguably the most significant announcement was that Windows Phone 8 will be available free to manufacturers of smartphones and small tablets (ie – devices with 9″ or smaller screens). It’s a dramatic change of strategy from a company that is inherently proud of their Windows creation and has traditionally commanded a premium for it.

Free Windows is potentially a game changer, removing a significant barrier to adoption from device manufacturers and giving them a clear alternative platform to Android. Will it enable Microsoft to return to dominance? Time will tell, however price alone is unlikely to be enough.  The user experience enhancements in Windows Phone 8.1, coupled with the consumer appeal of handsets that run it will ultimately determine whether Windows Phone can apply genuine pressure on Google and Apple.

One thing is for sure, Microsoft is taking a long term view of the mobile game and the wealth of announcements this week underscore their serious determination to recover the market leadership position that they previously enjoyed.

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Win a CoPilot Commute Survival Kit!

Commute-satnavWe know the daily Commute can be a battle. Here at CoPilot, we’re always looking to make all of your car journeys easier and would love to hear what YOUR personal experience is like – it will help us to help you.

We’ve got a couple of questions about your commute, your daily trip to and from work. Answer the questions by 8th of April for a chance to win an exclusive CoPilot Commute Survival Package complete with:

- CoPilot Premium Offline Sat Nav App of your choice

- 1 Year Free of ActiveTraffic™ to avoid the traffic jams

- CoPilot USB Car Charger for your device

- A premium quality in-car smartphone mount

To enter, simply complete the questionnaire on:

Facebook:

  1. Like CoPilot on Facebook
  2. Click on the “Commute quiz” tab
  3. Fill out the form

Using Mobile, Google+, or Twitter?

Fill up the questionnaire here>

We will share the results and announce the winner here on the blog as well as on our social channels – thank you very much for participating and good luck!

terms and conditions

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Device Spotlight: Nokia Lumia 1520

The Nokia Lumia 1520 is a big, bold statement from Microsoft and Nokia that presents another option separate from popular Apple and Android devices.  So what does phone have to offer consumers?

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  • 6” full HD 1080p IPS LCD, ClearBlack, Sunlight readability, Super sensitive touch, Gorilla Glass 2
  • Pixel density: 368 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad-Core processor, 2.2 GHz
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB internal storage (32 GB available outside US)
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 3400 mAh internal battery
  • micro SD expansion
  • nano SIM
  • Camera: 20 MP PureView, ZEISS optics, OIS, 2x lossless zoom, oversampling, dual LED flash
  • Size/Weight: 162.8 mm x 85.4 mm x 8.7 mm; 206 g
  • Colors: Yellow, white, black, glossy red

In terms of size, the 1520 may not be for everyone. It has a massive 6 inch display which may not slip well into your pocket or fit easily in your grip. On the plus side, the 1520 boasts an amazingly quick processor (the  new 2.2GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 800 to be exact). This speed, coupled with a bigger screen and great resolution bodes well for any gaming apps or a certain award winning gps navigation app that you use frequently.

So is this smartphone for you? Perhaps. It’s big but it’s also slim. Nokia is well known for its camera technology and they placed an amazing 20MP Pureview into the 1520 which will rival most smartphone cameras on the market. One other drawback is the 16GB of storage, you may find you’ll run out of space quickly between your CoPilot GPS maps, high-res games and all the photo’s you’ll be taking (a 32GB version of the phone is available outside the US).

Either way, we’re glad to see Microsoft and Nokia enter the ‘phablet’ arena with the Lumia 1520. These large phones provide a great experience navigating you to your destination.

-Rob Irving, Senior Software Engineer, on behalf of Team CoPilot

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Apple announces CarPlay

ios-carThe relationship between smartphones (and tablets) and cars is arguably the primary front line in consumer technology currently. Mobile devices have become integral within our daily lives, providing us with access to entertainment, information and other content wherever we are, whenever we want. However interacting with a phone in-car can at best be considered distracting, and in many countries simply illegal.

The dilemma for the car industry is that drivers want to be able to use their phones and access content in-car. We want to be able to do so with the same ease of use that the phones themselves offer.

Unfortunately this has not happened yet thanks to a lack of a common way of connecting mobile devices to the car. The closest we’ve seen to date has been MirrorLink, a standard which is supported by several major car manufacturers including VW and Honda, as well as some of the largest phone vendors, most noticeably Samsung and Nokia.

The glaring problem is that MirrorLink is not supported by everyone, and most critically that includes Apple who announced their own solution for iPhone and iPad last summer: iOS in the Car. Meanwhile back in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, Google announced their own initiative for Android: the Open Automotive Alliance.

So there’s still no common way for cars and smartphones to connect.

Apple officially announced  at the Geneva International Motor Show 2014 a new name for iOS In The Car: “CarPlay” to enable seamless access to certain iOS features through in-car infotainment system ‘head units’. As with MirrorLink and the Open Automotive Alliance, the primary goal is to provide access to content in a non-distracting driver-friendly manner, however Apple’s initial implementation seems somewhat limited initially. Firstly it requires the device to be connected using a lightening cable, which rules-out iPhone 4S and iPad 3, although Honda suggested that WiFi support will come soon. It will be available with new cars from an impressive number of leading brands, but not all – most noticeably VW who have previously stated their support for MirrorLink, and surprisingly Tesla, despite their being considered a possible acquisition target for Apple recently.

The main limitations at launch though is the services that CarPlay will support. These consist simply of core iOS apps including iPod, iTunes Radio, iMessage, Phone and of course Apple Maps. All controlled by Siri voice commands, touch screens and dials. A small number of additional independent music playing apps will also be available, but compared with the choice of apps on the iTunes app store it seems sparse.

We expect that drivers will want to access a much wider range of apps when driving. Of course these should require additional certification for safe in-car use to minimize distraction on the road and avoid unnecessary interaction while driving. We think in particular that drivers will want a choice of alternative navigation solutions to the standard Apple Maps app, whether to access offline maps, enjoy advanced car navigation features like lane guidance and safety camera warnings, or purely for comprehensive street map coverage in their region.

We are already optimising CoPilot’s guidance display to better support automotive-grade in-car infotainment standards, and we were excited to be able to demo MirrorLink at Mobile World Congress in February. We hope we’ll have an opportunity to extend the CoPilot experience to CarPlay too.

In the meantime, the fact remains: different smartphone platforms connect to cars in different ways., and that seems unlikely to change soon. Car manufacturers  will probably need offer infotainment systems that support multiple standards. The alternative would be to risk alienating a significant number of smartphone owning prospective buyers.

Will car buyers choose their car based on the smartphone they own or the other way round? The wrestling match between the car and smartphone industry looks set to enter a new dimension, yet will likely remain unresolved in the foreseeable future.

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CoPilot at Mobile World Congress 2014

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at Mobile World Congress this year. We had another successful show. Check us out next at MacWorld/iWorld in San Francisco, CA

 

http://storify.com/ariley/copilot-at-mwc-2014

Posted in ALK Corporate News, CoPilot for Android, CoPilot for iPhone & iPad, CoPilot for Windows Phone 8, Media Coverage & Reviews | Leave a comment

Visit CoPilot at MWC 2014!

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We hope to see all of our fans in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress 2014! We’ll have CoPilot demoing on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices. Stop by and say hello to Team CoPilot!

Posted in ALK Corporate News, CoPilot for Android, CoPilot for iPhone & iPad, CoPilot for Windows Phone 8, CoPilot Professional | Leave a comment

Map Your Way To The Top Like An Olympian

If you’ve got our offline maps to get to the proverbial and literal mountaintop, then you’re on your way to becoming an Olympic athlete. All you need is tons of practice, a lifetime of dedication and natural born talent. Easy peasy :)

Here’s some of the places you can frequent to grab the gold for yourself:

Fancy yourself a big time snowboarder like Jenny Jones? Head to Morzine, France to practice your slope style.

morzine

 

Grab a bunch of friends and train yourself in cross country skiing in Jotunheim, Norway.

norway-telemark-skiing

Dreaming of a gold in figure skating? Try out your tricks at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham, England.

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